wages in 1882 (quarterly)
Prescot Sep. 29th 1874
I notice you are making improvements to the
cottages in Speke which I complained of sometime ago but the principle upon
which you are working is not approved of by this authority. Ash closets are
preferred to the open midden as being cleaner & quite as cheap but in a
place like Speke will not be insisted upon. The middens however ought to be dry
& frequently cleaned out and on no account must slops or water of any kind
be thrown on to them they are better roofed on & open at the sides for
ventilation. Proper provision must be made for slops quite distinct from the
middens by drains & trapped grids.
I am Yours truly
from letter from 4/9/1874 from Geo Whitley
Last Tuesday was the heaviest fall of rain I ever remembered and of
course the old house suffered as the water could not be carried off quick enough
and the court yard was flooded and the carpets in some of the lower rooms
damaged. I sent down Ball to the rescue and he has undertaken with the
assistance of Mr. Woodyer to set all right for £2.14.0.
send a/c of wages this week which are high – viz.
from letter from 3/7/1874 from Geo Whitley
I am sorry to trouble you again so soon on this matter but it is really
so pressing owing to the hot weather that it is unavoidable. I fear you have
taken a wrong view of it as Tenants cannot be called upon to remedy
defects which exist in the premises occupied by them and are the cause of many
of the nuisances and can only be got quit of by an expensive system of drainage
&c which must fall upon the Landlord –
Take for instance Cottages
Pig cote too near the house – open midden & cess pool in the
Yard – no water supply, without drains.
whole of the cottages in this neighbourhood are badly supplied
with water and many of the existing wells appear to be polluted through
the imperfect and badly arranged sanitary conveniences.
we are to overcome the want of water I cannot imagine but I think we shall be
compelled at once to put the out buildings in such a state of repair and
perfect the drainage that the tenants may be enabled to comply with the orders
of the board and I will then take care that Mr. Woodyer shall see there is no
neglect on their part of want of cleanliness. The water supply in Speke is
becoming a serious question. Mr. Williams of the Dungeon works tells me he has
sunk 100 feet deep and has not yet found water. Cartwright’s well is 30 feet
deep and not supposed to be spring water.
from letter from 1/7/1874 from Geo Whitley
improvements are on an extensive scale but were greatly wanted and I think your
orders are being judiciously carried out. The Gardener pointed out to me the bad
condition of the Court yard which must have early attention, he said the family
are returning home the first week in August and it would be extremely unpleasant
as all the bedroom doors open into the corridor and overlook the Court yard
where the men would be at work and I told Woodyer to take them off the outside
and put them on the yard which I hope will meet with your approbation, if not
let me know.
from letter from 23/6/1874 from Geo Whitley
at Speke – removal of nuisances
The Philistines are upon us and we shall have the worst of the
battle. I send four notices, which please return to me, that you may see the
nature of the sanitary improvements required which cannot be avoided and will
require much consideration. The supply of water is a question which cannot
easily be overcome as I do not know from whence it is to be obtained. I shall be
glad of your opinion before any directions are given. I also send a copy letter
from the Inspector of Nuisances which you can retain. I have had a long
conversation with Mr. Joynson on the subject and from my own knowledge of the
property we can state that the description given by the Inspector is not
exaggerated. If the examination extends to the whole Township we shall have much
more to contend with.
Prescot, June 23rd 1874
I enclose notices of nuisances existing near Speke Village on property
belonging to Miss Watt for whom you are Agent & request your early attention
The Sanitary Authority recommend & direct that where practicable dry
ash closets shall be substituted for the old open middens & in this part of
Speke the system is peculiarly applicable it is cheap, convenient & cleanly
& where the notices call for alterations should be adopted. I shall be glad
to give you every information on the subject & you may see one at work at
the Union Workhouse or by calling upon me here.
I would also direct your attention to the water
supply which ought to be remedied, for nearly all the existing wells to which
the public have access appears to be polluted & I am not at all surprised
this should be so from the close proximity to them of cesspools, middens, pig
styes & other causes of pollution.
from letter from 23/12/1873 from Geo Whitley
in the Woods
I have been much annoyed to find that these have been much damaged as
usual although I have had our own men to assist in watching having been obliged
temporarily to put on a few more hands fortunately we have captured 2
trespassers whom I intend to prosecute, if you see no objection, one is a Speke
lad (about 16) and the other a Garston boy.
letter from 20/10/1873 from Geo Whitley
for the Hall drive
I have ordered Richard Sutton to attend to this, it will take many loads.
letter from 14/10/1873 from Geo Whitley
Leyland has informed me that the gravel for the carriage drive which was
promised to her has not been furnished & the road being now in a very bad
state she asks to have it done. The gardener says there is plenty of gravel on
the shore under the Home farm. Must I order Richd. Sutton to cart it up? The
roof of the Hall & some of the buildings wants examination.
for the Fire Engine
I have ordered
one as they say it is taking harm without a covering.
letter from 19/8/1873 from Geo Whitley
Some of the Plaister on the outside has come off and Mr. Leyland sent me
word it ought to be repaired. Wainwright was working for him and I asked for an
estimate but was told it could not be furnished for such a job. I was therefore
under the necessity of ordering the work to be done but stipulated that it
should on no account exceed £5.
weather here has become broken and much against the harvest, there being now
much corn down
from letter from 1/4/1873 from Geo Whitley
You recollect the field, occupied by Mr. Leyland adjoining the wood, the
rails are all rotten and many of them fallen down and the cattle can have access
to the lawn in front of the Drawing room by trespassing in the wood, the length
of the fence is about 200 yards and we should consequently want 600 rails and
posts, these, Richd. Sutton tells me, may be procured from a number of oak trees
in the “Coney tree wood” which are fast decaying and are valueless for any
other purpose. What must be done?
from letter from 3/12/1872 from Geo Whitley
had no other communication than those of which I sent you copies, with the
exception of a call from Richd. Atherton to the same friendly effect.
Mr. Hewson and myself had both invitations to the dinner, which under
present circumstances, I would willingly have avoided, but could not - however,
every thing passed off pleasantly and although observations as to the serious
aspect of affairs were of course made the Tenants seemed quite satisfied with
the treatment they had received.
James Cartwright, as the mouthpiece of the Tenants proposed the healths of Miss Watt & Mr. Sprot & requested I would convey to them their thanks for the kind consideration shewn to them – so far so good, and I trust they will have a better harvest next year and be able to make up some of the losses of this. The rents, as reduced, were punctually paid with a trifling exception which will be paid in the course of the week.
from letter from 28/11/1872 from Geo Whitley
After such consideration I determined to offer a reduction of £10 p.c. for
the year payable by two instalments and apprized all the Farm Tenants by
letter, giving them time for consideration.
has produced two very satisfactory letters, copies of which I send, and hope to
be favoured with others of a similar nature.
from letter from 22/11/1872 from Geo Whitley
I have made numerous enquiries on this momentous question but with little
satisfaction but this morning I had the opportunity of an interview with Lord
Derby’s Agent (private) & he told me that no alteration in his
Lordship’s rental had been made for many years and the rents were low and
consequently the Tenants had not made any claim for a reduction. His opinion was
that where the rents had been raised, as in case of Speke, the Tenants might,
under the present disastrous circumstances ask for a moderate reduction on
the half years rent with an intimation that it was not to be drawn into a
precedent. I therefore think that an offer of £10 p.c. might be offered and
shall be glad to know if this meets with your approbation. The weather here has
not improved and there is still a great quantity of land remaining unploughed.
We have large importations of potatoes, of foreign potatoes, which are highly spoken of, would you like to try them?
from letter from 28/9/1872 from Geo Whitley
Mr. Leyland’s gate
This is at the bottom of the wood on the road leading from the Hall to
the shore (near the old boat house) and cannot be done away with as gravel, sand
&c has to be carted from the shore for the use of the grounds &c. Crosby
has examined it and states that it is so rotten that it cannot be mended, &
recommends a new gate of split oak something in the following shape which will
be quite good enough.
Extract from letter 18/9/1872 from Geo Whitley
When Mr. S was at Speke he saw Mr. Leyland who complained that the gate
at the bottom of the Plantation was completely done and would not shut and asked
for it to be repaired, it can be of little consequence as the road is not of
course much used and there is a small gate for foot passengers, but I will get
Crosby to look at it & report to me.
letter from 31/7/1872 from Geo Whitley
On Friday afternoon
on my arrival at home I found a letter from Mr. Leyland of which the following
is a copy: “Speke Hall, 26 July
Dr. Sir, Owing to
some defect in the roof or outside walls the rain comes into the drawing room,
and of late so badly that if the defect is not remedied I fear the beautiful
ceiling will be seriously injured if not destroyed. Ball says he has reported
this to Mr. Shelmerdine but has received no
orders and I therefore think it is my duty to tell you of it. The drains
in the court yard also want something done to them, for the whole basement floor
of the house has been flooded four times
within the last few weeks. I would also mention that the outside of the
laundry is in a very dilapidated condition for want of painting”
This letter alarmed
me as on the next day (Saturday) I knew it was impossible to get any work done
& I was therefore compelled to wait until Monday when I sent Mr. Shelmerdine
as early as possible to examine and report and desired him to take Ball with him
and I enclose a copy of his report which has completely relieved my mind as to
the ceiling, he made a most particular examination and could not find the
slightest trace of injury by water, or otherwise, the floor of the drawing room
being on the same level as the ground outside will require attention. The
housekeeper must have made a mistake and Mr. Shelmerdine was not previously
spoken to on the subject by Ball who also made a mistake. I shall be glad to
hear from you after you have read the report and to take your directions
thereon. Hay harvest here still very bad and the potato disease creating great
I have very carefully examined the drawing room ceiling, the housekeeper,
who complained to Mrs. Leyland about the water dropping therefrom, being
present. - I could not discover where the ceiling, or the cornice, or any part
near it was in the slightest degree damaged, or even stained by water or any
thing else as she reported. I also examined the outside but in consequence of
the large quantity of ivy found it impossible to discover any thing, to carry on
the search successfully it will be necessary to cut the ivy close (which is now
wanted badly) and fill in with hair mortar & point with mastic & oil,
the open and exposed joist of the wood work.
small porch communicating with the drawing room referred to, has the walls and
ceilings very damp indeed, and something should be done at once to remedy this,
as the floor is on the same level as the drawing room which also, is a level
with the ground outside, so that any heavy shower beating against the porch is
only kept out by a door mat inside of the porch. I think a 6 inch agricultural
drain pipe communicating with some adjoining drain might be so constructed to
answer the drainage purpose required.
Court Yard which of late has been flooded by the very heavy thunderstorms
can be remedied by having the outlet drainage altered in a portion of the yard
by substituting 9 inch pipes for the present 4 inch.
Certain portions of the outside of the laundry complained of by
Mr. Leyland require plastering and pointing, other parts staining and colouring.
This cannot be estimated for with any amount of accuracy and I would recommend
it be done by day work. The workmen to repair such parts only as they are
directed so as not to make their work too great a contrast with the other
portions of the building.
Extract from letter 17/7/1872 from Geo Whitley
I cannot reconcile James Cartwright & his two men to the proposed
rate of wages and therefore I suppose the latter must quit their cottages on the
2nd August next which will I fear create quite a sensation in the
Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the County Palatine of Lancaster in the
Petty Sessions assembled at Woolton.
The Memorial of the undersigned
Landowners and inhabitants of Speke,
Allerton, Garston and the Neighbourhood
your Memorialists have observed that an application has been made to you for a
licence for the erection of a Magazine for the storage of Gunpowder at Hale.
Your Memorialists would respectfully point out to
the Justices the extreme danger of such a Magazine to property in the
Your Memorialists wish further to draw the
attention of the Justices to the fact that in the year 1857 in consequence of
the public outcry against the powder Magazines at Liscard, & after a
government enquiry an Act (14 & 15 Vic. Cap. 67) was passed by which those
Magazines were done away with and provision made for the establishment of
floating Magazines as the only safe mode of storing Gunpowder in the River
That by the said Act the Lord High Admiral or the Commissioners for executing that office with the approval of the Master General of Her Majesty’s Ordnance and the Commissioners for the Conservancy of the River Mersey are authorized to appoint suitable places on the River Mersey for the mooring of Vessels in which Gunpowder may be stored. That properly constructed vessels have been built and the same are subject to very stringent regulations & to a periodical inspection by an officer appointed by the Master General of the Ordnance.
That your Memorialists are informed and believe
that such Magazines are amply sufficient for the wants of the trade of the Port
and that if the existing vessels
should not be sufficient any
suitable person may apply for and obtain permission to moor other properly
constructed vessels on the River for the like purpose.
Your Memorialists submit that the establishment of
a Magazine for the storage of Gunpowder on the shores of the Mersey is contrary
to this Act of parliament which was passed after careful investigation with
reference to the storage of Gunpowder in and near that River.
Your Memorialists further draw the attention of the
Justices to the fact that the storing of an unlimited quantity of gunpowder in
one place and especially in land is fraught with very great danger to life and
property & that it will tend greatly to reduce the value of property for
many miles round.
Your Memorialists are informed that the application
for a licence is made for the purpose of private speculation and that no public
necessity has been or can be proved for the erection of a Magazine on the site
proposed and your Memorialists respectfully urge that their property ought not
to be subject to serious risk and thereby depreciated in value for the profit of
Your Memorialists therefore request that the
application for a licence for the erection of a Gunpowder Magazine at Hale may
be refused & that they may be heard in opposition thereto
Jno. G. Morris
21 June 1872
Magazine at Hale
Memorial of Land
Owners at Speke &c
For Mr. Sprot
might have been expected, the proposal to establish a gunpowder magazine on the
banks of the Mersey at Hale has not met with approval. Though people in this
neighbourhood are willing enough to encourage trade, and loth to throw obstacles
in the way of a project promising to add to the business of the locality, they
think that even money-making should not be conducted to the jeopardy of their
lives and property. It may be false timidity that induced opposition to the
scheme for storing twenty tons of gunpowder convenient to the MEREDITH vineries;
but to us it does not appear unnatural that the residents should deprecate being
placed in danger merely to profit Mr. JOHN SHARP or the Mersey Gunpowder Storage
Company. The spot may have been intended by Nature for the purpose of storing
explosives, as suggested by Mr. LUPTON, but neighbours are unwilling to accept
the intention as binding on them. People in this district have a lively
recollection of the Lotty Sleigh, and the consequences which attended the
blowing up of that vessel; and they may well be pardoned for feeling a little
timorous at a proposal to place a huge magazine close to their doors. When the
application of Mr. SHARPE was renewed at Woolton Sessions yesterday, evidence in
favour and against the granting of a licence was given; and it must be said that
the magistrates had good grounds for the decision at which they arrived. The
necessity for such a magazine as that contemplated by the embryo company is not
at all evident from the testimony submitted to the court, while the disfavour in
which the project is held in the neighbourhood is beyond question. “The site
is a most convenient one” says Mr. LUPTON. So it may be for the gunpowder dealers
who propose to use it; but fortunately for the public safety the law takes
cognizance of other matters than the profitableness of a speculation. It was
urged that virtual monopolists interfered with the safe mooring of Mr.
SHARPE’S gunpowder; but the way to correct this obstruction is not by
imperilling life and property at Hale. A floating magazine would, we are told,
be too expensive to carry out. Surely expense should not be weighed against
safety. Plausible as the story of the applicant may be, it is absurd to rely on
an embankment for immunity from disaster. The calamities which have happened in
various parts of the country have shown that stores of explosives are liable to
accident even with the most perfect arrangements and most careful supervision;
and we cannot suppose that the applicant for a licence to store powder will
guarantee there shall be no explosion. If twenty tons of powder collected at the
site named were to explode, the consequences would be disastrous. The natural
embankment on which so much reliance is placed would prove but a slight
safeguard against widespread ruin, and the possible proximity of people adds to
the danger of the experiment. Even Mr. G. M. WILLIAMS, who has works within a
quarter of a mile of the site, and who gave evidence in favour of the licence,
says he “would not like to go to heaven on twenty tons of gunpowder” Mr.
BLACKBURNE’S steward thinks that if there were an explosion, the damage would
be “very slight indeed”. Altogether, however, the evidence proved the danger
to the district was greatly in excess of prospective advantages; and the
magistrates were wise in refusing the application. For this result we may take
some credit ourselves; but for our warning to residents in the district the
scheme might have been successful, and they would have remained in happy
ignorance till the project was accomplished.
2 from the
Liverpool Mercury 22nd June 1872
MESSRS. R NEILSON, S. J. STEERS, H.GASKELL
PROPOSED GUNPOWDER STORE AT HALE
An application, adjourned from the previous sessions, was made by Mr.
Lupton on behalf of Mr. J. G. Sharpe, of London, for a licence to erect a
building for the storage of gunpowder at a place called Dungeon, on the banks of
the Mersey at Hale. Mr. Garnett appeared to oppose the application on behalf of
the Local Garston Board and for the London and North-Western Railway Company;
Mr. Bateson for Mr. Whitley, as representing the owners of property at Speke;
and Mr. Walter Pierce, for inhabitants of Garston. A long discussion took place
between the legal advocates as to the validity of the preliminary notices,
posted as required by the act of Parliament, the contention being that
sufficient notice of the application had not been given and that a further
adjournment was necessary. The bench ultimately decided that the notices were
sufficient and the case must proceed. Mr. Lupton, as he had done on the previous
application, urged various grounds in support of it, amongst which were the
eligibility of the site, freedom from any liability to danger, and that it was
sanctioned by the owner of the property, Mr. J. I. Blackburne. Plans of the
proposed building were then submitted for the inspection of the bench, and it
was explained that it was a considerable distance from any dwelling house, and
that every precaution would be adopted to prevent the possibility of danger, no
iron being used in the construction of the building. A witness, Mr. Gittens,
explained the general character of the project, and answered several questions
by the bench. On cross-examination by Mr. Garnett, the witness stated that the
application was for the Mersey Gunpowder Storage Company. They were not at
present manufacturers of gunpowder, but they contemplated it. The company was
only in course of formation. Mr. Sharpe, a gunpowder manufacturer, who has mills
near Epsom, was a member of the company. The licence was intended for the
company and Mr. Sharpe’s private use, and it might be made available for the
company if the arrangements were entered into. In further cross-examination, he
said that Mr. Sharpe, himself, and Dr. Wilson of Claughton, were three members
of the company. These were the only three he could give at present. In reply to
questions by Mr. Bateson, the witness said that Sharpe applied for a licence for
a magazine across the river, and that he had sold it for a considerable sum of
money. He had been connected with Sharpe. They made a few cartridges, and
witness was brought before the magistrates at Birkenhead for making them. He did
not know that Sharpe had had some explosions at his premises. Mr. Pierce then
cross-examined the witness, and elicited from him that Sharpe had an office in
London, but he was not aware of his having been in difficulties in 1865. Mr.
Lupton remarked that the application was bona fide on the part of Mr. Sharpe. -
The witness Gittens explained that the gunpowder would be shipped in covered
boats, under the regulations of the Mersey Dock Board. The company could not
have a floating magazine, as he believed such an application would not be
granted. It was stated that one reason for the application was that Mr. Sharpe
found difficulty in getting his gunpowder stored in Liverpool, owing to a
monopoly enjoyed by another company. Mr. G. M. Williams, proprietor of the
concrete works at Hale, which he said were less than a quarter of a mile from
the proposed magazine, considered the site as safe a one as could be selected,
though since he came into court his views were somewhat altered when he found
that instead of five tons it was 20 tons of gunpowder. Mr. Bateson, said there
was nothing to prevent the applicant storing an unlimited quantity if he chose
to do so. Mr. John White, steward to Mr. J. I. Blackburne considered the sit a
suitable one for a powder magazine. Mr. Bateson, on behalf of Mr. Whitley,
presented a memorial signed by a number of gentlemen in the neighbourhood of
Speke, Garston &c. The signatures included those of Mr. Whitley, Mr. J. G.
Morris, Allerton Priory; Mr. Leyland, Speke Hall; and Mr. Myers of Woolton. The
advocate urged the danger to property of such a magazine as that projected; that
floating magazines were the only safe mode of gunpowder storage; and that such
an establish-ment was contrary to the act of Parliament. It appeared to him to
partake more of the character of a private speculation than anything else, and
he hoped the bench would refuse the application. Mr. Pierce also presented an
opposition memorial similar to the previous one, from inhabitants of Garston,
many of the farmers having land there. Amongst the signatures was that of Mr. J.
Meredith, the vine grower, who believed that in the event of an explosion the
whole of his glass would be destroyed, valued at some thousands of pounds. He
contended that property would be depreciated, and, as the project was an
entirely speculative one, he saw no reason to encourage it. Mr. Garnett
considered that to grant such an application would be reversing the decision of
the legislature, and was not within the spirit of the act. Besides, the
application was not from a manufacturer of gunpowder at all. He protested
against the application on behalf of the local board of Garston and the
ratepayers of the district. Mr. Lupton replied, and repudiated the uncalled for
remarks which had been throw out against Mr. Sharpe, who was a man of high
character and reputation. The Chairman of the bench (Mr. Neilson) assured Mr.
Lupton that they would not take the slightest notice of the remarks referred to.
In continuation, Mr. Lupton again urged that the site was a suitable one, that
the application was bona fide, and that no evidence has been adduced to rebut
the case he had opened in support of the application. The bench considered after
that what they had heard they would not be justified in granting the
application. Mr. Lupton asked for the reasons upon which the decision was
grounded; and a negative reply being given, he intimated that he should apply to
the Secretary of State.
2 April 1872
There does not seem any chance of an amicable arrangement and it is now
becoming serious as the Farmers are literally without labourers, teamsters in
particular, I had a Deputation this morning and I have promised, with your
approbation, to give a few of the most prominent of the opportunists who have
left their work and sought employment at Garston, notice to quit as it is not to
be borne that they should be allowed to work in one Township where wages
are high and come to reside in another where rents are low. By way of
experiment I therefore send for your signature, notices to 5 Tenants to quit as
they will look more formal with it.
Ashcroft works for Mrs. Byron
the cottages are vacated they will be given up to the Tenants (Farmers) and
incorporated with their several holdings. They have long asked for this boon as
they have no control over their workmen without it.
I have to ask for your indulgence in again postponing your proposed visit
to or any day, after the 13th inst. as the marriage I spoke of
has been postponed to that day and I have not yet been enabled to complete my share of the necessary preparations. So far however you are perhaps lucky in being where you are as the weather here has been one uninterrupted succession of wet days and the country is quite inundated.
Hewson still continues unwell & has gone to the sea side with her family
I am Dear Sir,
from letter from 27/3/1872 from Geo Whitley
at the Hall
Lunt said that although the job was an awkward one to estimate for, he
had no objection to do so and I therefore desired him to let me have one of
which I enclose a copy, it is a large sum (£28) but the repairs of an old house
are never satisfactory.
26th March 1872
I beg leave to submit a tender for the following work required to be done
according to your instructions at Speke Hall, remove the fixtures in Butlers
pantry, take up the present floor excavate out the soil to the depth of 18in.
build sleeper walls to carry red deal joists 4½ x 3 to be covered with 1 pitch
pine narrow floor boards Tongued, Grooved and Stored & clean dressed off,
repair & refix fixtures leaving all complete, provide & fix 2 Cast iron
ventilators let into stone to secure proper ventilation under floor each 2ft x
1ft. provide & fix Ogee Iron spouting with down spouts outside of Butlers
pantry window, connect the same to drain with pipes – take up room floor over
Butlers pantry level up joists on top with scantling lay the floor with 1in
pitch pine floor boards. Square jointed stoved & clean dressed off, fix 7
moulded skirting round this room painted 3 coats, the whole of the work herein
described to be left complete and to your satisfaction for the sum of Twenty
eight pounds £28.0.0.
Thomas Shelmerdine Esq.
Strike at Spek
The announcement in this mornings Liverpool paper is:
farm labourers at Speke
“A correspondent informs us that our information as to the
demands of the Farm Labourers – teamsters 24/- and labourers 20/-
a week – was not correct in the figures. The teamsters want 20/- &
the labourers 18/-. It is untrue that they want the nine hour system. Some of the farmers have
have not heard that the Farmers have come to this understanding, on the contrary
Mrs. Mawdsley this morning told me that they had only 1 labourer on the estate,
an Irishman, and that her husband was obliged to turn out and work himself. I
hope however both parties may yet come to terms.
I enclose a
26th March 1872
I know not
Strike at Speke
I attended the meeting of the Farm tenants at the school on the 20th
instant and they came to a resolution to offer the Labourers the following
terms, 16/-, 17/- and 18/- p.week according to their deserts, with the
allowances which have always been made to them viz.
land for the growth of potatoes for the family, Straw for the pigs, Cartage of
coal, full time without deduction.
I have waited a few days to enable me to report to you the result, this
has been quite unfavourable, much higher wages being demanded and the
consequence has been a turn out of those in the better class who have ordered
their inferiors, to cease work which has therefore very generally come to a
stand still though many men would not willingly leave their employ.
At the meeting I promised, which I hope with your approbation, the
Farmers that all their men having cottages, leaving their present employment and
going to work at Garston & elsewhere should have notice to quit. I must say
I am not surprized at the decisions as there appears to be a similar feeling
throughout the country. I am glad to find we shall have the opportunity of
seeing you soon and will therefore leave other matters to rest until we meet.
I have some particular engagements until after the 6th April
next which may possibly necessitate my absence from home for a few days but
after that day shall be at liberty to attend you for any length of time you may
I am Dear Sir
enclose from Liverpool Mercury. 25th March 1872)
The spelling is as it appears in the paper.
The Kirkaldy strike in the floorcloth trade continues.
The men have, however, asked for a conference.
The Sheffield boot and shoe workmen have generally obtained an advance of
wages from 15 to 20 per cent, and the masters have intimated a corresponding
rise in the price of boots. The hands employed by several large firms have
struck, an advance being refused.
SERVANTS IN SPEKE
Liverpool, March 23rd
Sir, - The farm servants in the Township of Speke as
struck work for, team man for 24s per week, and farm lorberer 20s per week, and
haff want the 9 hours movment. when i asked my marster last night he said he
could not for the Land Lord had raised the rents to 6 pounds and acre, so i want
to know hare we to suffer for the landlords extravagrance. it is like the parson
said last Sunday, he reaps where he never sowed. Please put this in your papr
– I am your obediently servant.
it right spellin and grammar as i am no scolar
from letter from 16/3/1872 from Geo Whitley
& most important
The drain from the Hall to the shore. This nuisance which we inspected the whole distance has not been overstated, it is very well cleared out and two thirds of the distance there being a good stream of water through, it is free from smell but at its junction with the main drain it is very offensive and must in some way be rectified. I send herewith the report of Mr. Shelmerdine.
The repairs referred to in the report are quite necessary, the floor in
the maid’s room is so thoroughly worn out that you can scarcely walk across it
and it has been protected by a double carpet.
There is, I much regret to say, a very uncomfortable feeling sprung up
owing to the Agricultural population imitating the present times having made an
unmistakeable movement for a rise in wages and shorter hours having already held
a meeting on the subject. I had this morning a Deputation from some of the
principal Tenants to explain how matters stood and to ask me to attend a
proposed meeting to be held by them (not of the Labourers also) on Wednesday
next at the school room. I explained to them that I thought as it was a meeting
of their own class, I was better away but as they would not hear of it I was
obliged, unwillingly, to consent. I will write again in a few days and give you
a report of further proceedings
from letter from 20/2/1872 from Geo Whitley
Mr. Shelmerdine is at present in London but on his return in a few days
he shall make a thorough examination.
from letter from 15/2/1872 from Geo Whitley
I met Mr. Leyland and his family & a lot of dependants this morning
at the Speke station departing for London for the season, tho’ early, as they
are anxious to leave the house having had one death and 2 cases of Diphtheria,
he complains much of the water course through the wood which he says is a
nuisance and ought to be remedied immediately by cleaning it out and
covering it up. Meredith happened to be present and I gave directions to inspect
it and make a report to me without delay.
from letter 30/12/1871from Geo Whitley
I am sorry to say a young Lady (Miss Gee) who was staying there died a
few days since in the house of Diptheria after a few days illness & the
Butler is now ill of the same complaint.
from letter from 2/10/1871 from Geo Whitley
at the Hall
I also send report and estimate and Mrs. Leyland was naturally so
urgent for the abatement of the nuisance that I thought it better to give
directions to Peters & Ball to do the necessary repairs at the estimated
cost of £4.12.6.
from letter 7/1/1871 from Geo Whitley
I have seen Mr. Leyland and I think he has made up his mind to take the
Home Farm if we do not deal with Cartwright which with his requirements it is
not probable we shall do – he (Cartwright) I hear has had £1000 left to him
by a relation.
from letter 13/12/1870 from Geo Whitley
At the rent day I saw Mr. Leyland’s new six stall stable which is as
complete & nicely fitted up as you could desire and will be a great
accommodation where such stud is kept
from letter from 2/8/1869 from Geo Whitley
Hall – storewall drain pipes to remove nuisance
from letter from 6/2/1869 from Geo Whitley
I had an alarming report a few days since that in consequence of the long
continued fall of rain the Courtyard was flooded & the water could not be
got off – but fortunately they sent for Peters & Ball who afforded
temporary relief & I sent over Mr. Shelmerdine who ordered a new system of
draining with layer pipes at the estimated cost of £9 only & he thinks the
like will not occur again.
from letter from 5/2/1868 from Geo Whitley
The Tenant is really doing wonders, the blue drawing room furniture is
removed & new to be substituted, ceiling now painted & wall covered with
grey satin fluted, they say it formerly looked like a French plum box,
all the rooms are occupied and Mr. L has bought a valuable collection of
pictures by Turner and others, the new Billiard room is nearly finished. Keeps
seven horses and is very popular with his neighbours, excuse this chat.
We have here a succession of tremendous gales which are not yet over and seem to have affected all parts of the country. Meredith called on me this morning & I am happy to find the Speke estate has suffered very little, Byron’s farm most but that not much of a consequence. The Hall for which I feared has received no real damage the wind being altogether from the N & NW from which the house is well sheltered by the Plantations
Leyland asked Meredith a few days since if he had heard anything about the
from letter from 11/12/1867 from Geo Whitley
I hear very good accounts of the Tenant. I am glad that he likes the
house; he has given directions to Ball to restore the old Kitchen as a Billiard
room. The design for the 2 Lodges are in preparation.
from letter from 19/11/1867 from Geo Whitley
28 Old Bond Street W
12th Nov. 1867
We are in receipt of your letter of the 8th instant and in
reply beg to say
have now laid the case in all its bearings before you, it is not our
custom to litigate disputed claims, unless they amount to a large sum, and can
only say that we must leave it to Mr. Sprot and Yourself to pay us such an
amount as you may consider fair under the circumstances
We remain Dear Sir,
from letter from 19/11/1867 from Geo Whitley
I send a copy of Mr. G’s further explanation, he does not choose to
divest himself of the idea that Mr. Leyland was attracted by any other advert
than his own and as to consulting others in the same line as himself is merely a
farce, however I perfectly agree with you that we had better at once make a
compromise, what do you think of 30 Guineas?
Say costs out of pocket
also send copies of the prior correspondence which you may wish to see before
giving your determination & which there is no occasion to return.
from letter from 5/11/1867 from Geo Whitley
I enclose copy letter from Messrs. Green which does them little credit by
way of explanation, their argument as to Mr. Leyland becoming acquainted with
the proposed letting through their means being simply absurd. I send a copy of
my intended reply which if you approve of I will forward. I fear we shall be
obliged to compromise as I know several exactly similar cases most unjustly
decided in favour of the claimants. On dissecting the bill if would stand as
out of Pocket
are also 3 other items in the bill which have not been filled up
I would not have objected to their Bill if they had done any work but
except a few attendances they literally did nothing.
The expenses of the journey to Speke (£5.6.0) ought I think as costs out
of pocket to be fairly allowed
Old Bond Street W
1 November 1867
We duly received your letter of the 25th ult.
Mr. Sprot is under a misapprehension in supposing that we agreed to go
down to Speke Hall for 5gns. & to include in that sum our expenses. You will
perceive by our account that our Mr. Green’s travelling and hotel expenses
come to more than that sum. When we saw Mr. Sprot in the first instance on the 2nd
July last we entered his instructions in our day book and the following is an
extract from the entry – “to go down & take particulars agreed that our
charge for so doing should be 5 Guineas & expenses”.
The advertisements are long and are only the usual price we condensed the
form as much as we could so as to do justice to the property & the draft was
approved by you previous to insertion.
With reference to the Commission we beg to observe that we are strictly
entitled to our full percentage on one year’s rental, the place was advertised
by name in the “Times” & Local papers & Mr. Leyland a local
gentleman no doubt saw the advertisement being on the spot it saved time for him
to view the Hall at once instead of writing to us for an order, on the premises
he would ascertain that you were one of the Trustees, and being in the same town
it would be less trouble to him to treat with you a principal than to negotiate
thro’ us, we laid the foundations for letting & we did all the work except
the agreement & had we carried this through our additional trouble would
have been very little more than it has been, as our agreements are printed a
form of which we herewith enclose.
In consideration of your having carried out the agreement when we
forwarded our account we met the case in a liberal spirit & only charged one
half of the amount of Commission we are actually entitled to
Trusting this explanation will be satisfactory to Mr. Sprot and yourself
We remain Dear Sir
letter to Messrs Green
8 Nov 1867
am in receipt of your letter of the 1st instant a copy of which I
have forwarded to Mr. Sprot & on which I have to make the following
Mr. S on his return from London informed me that your charge for
coming down to Speke was to be 5gns without reference to expenses
Under these circumstances I submit that your claim to commission cannot
I am &c G.W
Since writing the above I have this morning received a letter from Mr.
Sprot who says “I am quite sure the 5 guineas as agreed was to include every
thing connected with his (that is your own) journey to Speke for I recollect
naming the Railway fare there and back and had it exceeded the 5 guineas would
not have consented to his going”
from letter from 30/10/1867 from Geo Whitley
Mr. Leyland has had scarcely any but extremely wet weather since the
commencement of his tenancy but Meredith informs me he is quite satisfied with
his bargain which I am glad of, he also says he has purchased a pair of carriage
horses for which he has given £200 –each, this however is rather
dubious. The servant women (Mr. Watts’) have left and been settled with.
Barton is assisting to put the matters right and therefore has not yet called.
The Housemaid told me the family intend always to dine in the Hall, to use the
small dining room as a schoolroom, to furnish the blue drawing room with their
own furniture, to order a new carpet for the large bedroom, to remove the Pianos
upstairs and substitute their own, & she had heard that Mr. L wished to have
taken the house as soon as it was let but that Mrs. L then objected. Meredith
said Mr. L had stated he would build one lodge if you would erect another.
from letter from 19/10/1867 from Geo Whitley
I deferred writing to you until I had finally arranged with Mr. Leyland,
he took possession on the 16th inst. and he and his family slept
there that night. The old servant woman who has left, told me yesterday that
some of the lower portions of the house were, owing to the extremely wet weather
which we have lately had, very damp. The Auctioneers delayed me in not having
the inventories ready as early as they ought to have been but they are now
signed & every thing is settled.
from letter from 11/9/1867 from Geo Whitley
I have this week an application to take & and apparently the most
promising offer since our unfortunate dealing with Mr. Daunt.
The gentleman is Mr. F. R. Leyland a partner in the firm of Bibby &
Co here who are largely connected in the Mediterranean trade and owners of a
splendid fleet of Steamers, several of the Bibby’s are connected with the
copper works at Garston and elsewhere but Mr. L has no share in them his
business being confined to the shipping department of which he is the sole
Manager. He is now living in Falkner Square in Liverpool and being obliged to
leave his house has taken a fancy to Speke, he is an admirer of antiques and has
a very fine collection of old silver plate which would accord with the house. I
have only seen his Agent and from what he says Mr. L’s requisitions would be
only such as we could properly meet. I have told him the rent of the property as
advertised would be £400, and this I think he would give if we would as is the
case in most ready furnished houses, pay the Taxes, this I declined and he then
named £350, himself paying all of them except property Tax.
It seems to me that we ought not to lose this opportunity but make the
best terms we can and if you are at liberty any time next week your presence
here would be desirable as many points may have to be discussed and I will make
an appointment with Mr. Leyland convenient to yourself. He has a family of four
children and from what I hear must have ample means
I have heard nothing from Mr. Green and therefore presume he has not been able to do anything for us, if you are in the same position would you to save time write and ask him to stay his hand awhile
from letter from 27/8/1867 from Geo Whitley
I had this morning a letter from Green & Son, a copy of which I send.
I had previously written for information. The Col. Loftus referred to by them
(of Walcot Hall, near Stamford) in the beginning of last year wrote to me asking
for particulars of the letting which I furnished. In his answer on the 3rd
March 1866 he said “The shooting, fishing and land must be better than I can
suppose them to be, to be near worth £1,000 p.ann. I should have supposed the
rent for the house, gardens, shooting and fishing would have been £300 p.ann.
and the land extra according to its value”. He may perhaps think better of it
now the terms are reduced.
from letter from 7/8/1867 from Geo Whitley
I have a short time since returned to Messrs Green the draft of the
advertisement with a few alterations, no application for taking. I went through
the house and found all in order and the place is looking very nice. I had a
conversation with the housemaid and she seems to think she could not manage with
a young woman as in all probability she could not control her and she would not
feel inclined to remain long in so quiet a place, and I do not suppose the house
maid could be induced to stay there single handed. Suppose we allow the
establishment to remain as it is for another month and see if Mr. Green has any
better success than ourselves.
from letter 5/6/1867 from Geo Whitley
further application. The grounds are looking very well and the shrubs in full
from letter from 25/5/1867 from Geo Whitley
The Hall –
You are, I think, quite right in declining Mr. Behrend’s offer for a
short tenancy. I accidentally met Mr. Pender’s agent a few days since &
opened a sort of negotiation with him and stated that we were prepared to modify
from letter from 21/5/1867 from Geo Whitley
I have this morning had an application for the occupation of the house
for the months of June July & August with an undertaking to give it up on a
very short notice if let to a permanent tenant. I enclose a note from the party
(Mr. Behrand?) and shall be glad to have your opinion on the offer. I do not
myself feel inclined to enter into the negotiation as he would have the benefit
of all the summer months and we should have the house in all probability left on
our hands for the winter.
The contract with Laurie for Mr. Lee’s outbuildings is signed and I
suppose he is now at work
from letter from 9/5/1867 from Geo Whitley
I have had an application from a Capt. Herbert, who is with his regiment
here, but I do not fancy it will come to anything. I think we may as well see
whether another month may bring us better luck.
from letter from 29/3/1867 from Geo Whitley
Garston I yesterday proceeded to the Hall and found all in order,
ventilated and dry, some additional linen is wanted for general use. The grounds
are looking very well & attractive, still however no Tenant offers. I will
again advertise the place
from letter 26/2/1867 from Geo Whitley
I have a letter this morning from Mr. Pender’s agent as under:
“Speke Hall &c. We are directed by Mr.
This was in answer to my letter to him saying we should be prepared to
take £500. this matter is therefore ended
from letter 18/2/1867 from Geo Whitle
The following is the proposition I made to Mr. Pender’s agent here.
and I have received the following answer
If you will refer to my letter to you of the 1st January last
you will find that I on behalf of Mrs. Denison offered to you the rent of £400
per ann. for Speke Hall garden pleasure grounds stabling &c and Shootings.
After this letter was received by you an interview took place at our office
between Mr. Sprot and ourselves. At this meeting Mr. Sprot clearly agreed to
accept the rent offered (X)
provided Mrs. Denison agreed to pay the usual agricultural rent for any
additional land she might require for cows &c.
The only question which as I understood Mr. Sprot
reserved for further consideration were the conversion of a disused kitchen into
a Billiard room and the erection of a lodge.
When you left with me on Friday the terms Mr. Sprot
agreed to which contained an increase of rent I felt greatly surprised, I
however submitted them to Mr.
Pender on behalf of Mrs. Denison.
I have this morning received a letter from Mr. Pender in
which he most distinctly states that Mrs. Denison will not give more than the
rent of £400
Unless therefore Mr. Sprot accepts this rent at once
the whole negotiation will be at an end
I am Dear Sir
Will you have the goodness to give me your opinion on the above? I do not think we should take £400, if we are to lay out probably one years rent for alterations & lodge. Stockton, an assistant to the late keeper, is looking after the game and keeping it off trespassers, he has been long employed on the estate
from letter 4/2/1867 from Geo Whitley
I should have written earlier but expected to have heard from Mr. Pender,
not having done so I am led to believe that he has been waiting to hear from me,
his proposition was:
To enter the beginning of May next,
House and shootings I stated would be £550 p.ann.
is rather a serious catalogue of wants and I think we had better give Mr.
Pender time to consider whether he will not be a little less exacting and as the
spring advances the place will improve so much in appearance that we shall have
a better chance of letting
Do you intend this to be sent to you? I enclose Mr. Van? Gruisen’s
account and he says he shall be glad to have the Organ removed and must charge
additional warehouse room. Shall I pay the bill?
enclosed statement shews the state of the affairs up to the end of
December last. Did you wish to have a more detailed one?
from letter 3/1/1867 from Geo Whitley
I have a definite offer at last from Mrs. Denison, as under
“We are authorized by Mrs. Denison to offer you as a rental for Speke Hall as at present furnished together with the
shooting & a field sufficient for 2 or 3 Cows the sum of
£400 per annum on a lease. We shall feel obliged by your submitting this
proposal to Mr. Sprot your Co. Trustee Yours
etc Avinson & Co (x)”
I think I should adhere to the sum of £450 for the house and shootings alone and not include a field as the giving up of that might disarrange the working of the Home Farm which is already small enough. What length of lease would you feel inclined to grant subject to a 12 months notice to quit as stated in Mr. Daunt’s lease. It is evident Mr. Pender does not intend to make himself liable for the rent. I am told Mrs. Denison has an income of £1,500 a year
TO BE RE-LET
IN CONSEQUENCE OF
THE PRESENT TENANT GIVING UP POSSESSION
CALLED SPEKE HALL
Situated in the
Township of Speke, about Seven Miles from Liverpool
STABLES, AND OTHER OUTBUILDINGS
GROUNDS, AND APPURTENANCES THERETO BELONGING
Together with the
NOW IN THE HOUSE
And the adjoining
FARM, known as “The Home Farm”
Gamekeepers and other Cottages
The whole of the property proposed to be let contains about 150 statute
acres. Together, also, with THE SHOOTINGS over the Speke Estate, comprising
about 2,414 acres, and the right of fishing in the river Mersey, which adjoins
the Estate. There is also a seat in Garston Church appurtenant to the Estate,
and an easy communication with Liverpool by rail and omnibus
Speke Hall is one of the most ancient and picturesque timbered Mansions
in England, in very good preservation, with an inner court, in which there are
two venerable Yew Trees. The great hall is lofty with oak wainscot and ceiling.
The principal drawing room is a fine specimen of the time, oak wainscoted, with
curious oak carving over the mantelpiece. The bedrooms are numerous, wainscoted
with oak, and all furnished in the same good taste as the rest of the house. The
whole forms an interesting specimen of Old English domestic architecture, rarely
to be met with at the present day
possession may be had
Further particulars may be obtained from Mr. GEORGE WHITLEY,
Clayton Square, Liverpool, to whom all offers for taking the property are to be
addressed, but the owners do not bind themselves to accept the highest one
of Speke for letting
Mr. Daunt was to pay